t: 01904 784847 e: julian.sturdy.mp@parliament.uk
Julian Sturdy - Strong Voice for York Outer

Julian Sturdy

Member of Parliament for York Outer

Latest News & Campaigns

Government announcement on ending covid restrictions

Government announcement on ending covid restrictions

“Given the amazing success of the booster programme in protecting York households, and the latest encouraging virus data, I am glad the government has decided to let current ‘Plan B’ measures expire at the end of this month. Although I have serious concerns about the Prime Minister’s judgement on other matters, I think he has

Julian welcomes Cystic Fibrosis medicine announcement

I am delighted by the recent news that the life-changing Kaftrio modular therapy has...

York Press column – Finally we are learning to live with covid

As we move through the cold days and early evenings, we have the significant...

Statement on alleged Downing Street Parties

The recent revelations about the party in the garden of Number 10 on the...

York Press column – Remembrance Centenary and World Antimicrobial Resistance Week

November 17, 2021

Last Sunday marked one hundred years of remembrance as we know it, with the introduction of the poppy and formation of the Royal British Legion to care for former members of the armed forces in 1921.

First observed flourishing on battlefields where nothing else grew, the poppy signifies renewal and resilience, and the hope that new life can emerge from death and darkness. We wear them both to honour the dead and to resolve to build a peaceful future, ensuring that past sacrifices will not have been in vain.

Amid political divisions, remembrance always provides a moment of national solidarity and reflection, as was the case in 1921. There was a changed public mood, which required that the collaboration across social backgrounds which characterised the war years be continued into peace. This produced moves to build up social security systems, including war widows’ pensions, slum clearance and new housebuilding, and government attention devoted to offering a fairer deal to workers. We have much to learn from this, not least because our country has now again experienced a period of collective suffering and sacrifice in the form of the pandemic.

I was honoured to play my part in this important anniversary by laying a poppy cross tribute on behalf of York Outer at the House of Commons Constituency Garden of Remembrance. Each MP’s contribution commemorates those from their area that gave their lives fighting for our freedom and a safer world. The Garden also fully reflects the breadth of our multicultural society and overseas involvement in past conflicts, with poppy tributes from all religions and none, alongside those from the 54 Commonwealth states.

One very positive trend in recent years has been growing awareness of the enormous contribution of people from South Asia, Africa and the Caribbean in both World Wars. For instance, is not remembered enough that a third of the migrants aboard the ship Windrush were RAF men. This highlights that remembrance is not some dusty relict, but a living heritage of direct relevance to diverse 21st century Britain, which embraces people of all ethnic origins. Given recent attempts by some to attack our history and divide society on grounds of identity, the truth about our multicultural war experience offers a welcome alternative story of unity and hope.

In a menacing world, Remembrance Day also offers a timely reminder that freedom is not free. The liberties we take for granted have only been preserved through the maintenance of collective security by the world’s democracies, through institutions like NATO. From the current threatening gestures by Belarus and Russia towards the EU, to the return of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the ongoing suffocation of Hong Kong, no one can fail to see that democratic and liberal values are under significant challenge.

This country’s provision against such threats is shown by the troops we have deployed in Eastern Europe to deter Russian aggression, a commitment that of course endures ‘despite Brexit’, and the considerable new investment the government are making in the vital insurance policy that is our armed forces, including countering threats to the sea lanes that facilitate global trade, and from cyber.

Learning from experiences of collective suffering and being vigilant against future threats is also highly relevant during World Antimicrobial Week, which begins tomorrow. Antimicrobial resistance is when, via exposure over time, bacteria become resistant to the drugs used to treat them, making treatments for common diseases increasingly ineffective. This has the potential to be more deadly than covid, with 50,000 deaths annually across Europe and North America already attributed to resistance, and projections 10 million people will die globally every year by 2050 unless further steps are taken.

As chair of Parliament’s all-party group on antibiotics, I have helped lead on this issue for several years. In the summer, I lobbied Ministers on amending the Environment Bill to better counter the risk of antimicrobial resistance driven by residues in water and sewage, and during 2020 organised a cross-party letter to the Prime Minister calling for more leadership and coordination across government on resistance. Our country has made a big contribution to the global search for solutions, and we must develop these efforts until the problem is cracked.